Bledlow vs Holton & Wheatley

Sunday 15 May 2011

Original Report by Alan Banyard

 

Holton First Win

After two difficult fixtures against RT Harris and then Horspath, Holton finally recorded a fine victory against another strong opposition in Bledlow.

Last May, we faced Bledlow for the first time at their glorious "steam train" home ground.  They were much too strong for us that day and we were expecting an equally tough fixture this time round.

As it turned out, our opponents had a cup match at home and so our fixture was moved to another nice venue, Towersey.  Once again, we found we were playing mostly younger players, which would mean we needed to be sharp in the field and running between the wickets.

Guy won the toss a put Bledlow in to bat on a wicket that had apparently played with variable bounce the day before - today was exactly the same according to Phil Wood who had played there with Tiddington.

It would be nice to write an account of the Bledlow innings - unfortunately the scorebook is sadly lacking.  There is no record of who batted or their scores or fall of wickets!  As I recall, most of their batsmen contributed, but with help from the pitch, we took regular wickets including an exceptional run out from John Kelly with one stump to aim at.  Contrary to previous games, we took most of our catches as well, four of them - but someone with better memory than me, or the catchers themselves will have to remind me (emails please).

Bledlow finished with 117 all out with just 12 extras and their top scorer was - well who knows, I seem to remember one of their lower order did quite well!

Patel, Wood and Hawkins took two wickets apiece.

A Patel        5    1    12    2

J Kelly         7    0    31    1

P Wood       6    2    17    2

G Hawkins   6    0    17    2

G Burford    4    0    11    1

J Simpson   3    1    18    1

Going in to bat, we felt on this wicket 117 was not far from a par score.  I was due to open the batting with John Simpson, but with an ankle injury from the previous week, I managed to get myself dropped down the order with Binoy Masters coming in at 2.  Good job too when I saw some of the deliveries Binoy in particular received!

But John took strike and after failing to make contact with the second ball, was hit on the back leg and given out.  We were none for one and it seemed we had a mountain to climb.  But Holton nowadays are full of "star" all rounders and you never know who is going to play the winning innings.

Simon Switala came in to play out the rest of the over and took a boundary to head us in the right direction.  In fact Simon played a nice little cameo with three boundaries - all effortless trademark shots, timing and placement, not brute force.  At the other end Binoy played in complete contrast - playing his shots, taking risks, using the aerial route sometimes close to tease the fielders.  When Simon was eventually out, we were 51 for 2 and - well - not quite in control but on top.

Mahesh joined Binoy and another good partnership developed, but then both departed in quick succession along with Mark Deacon and suddenly we were 85 for 5.  Binoy top scored with an aggressive 37.

Our captain, Guy Burford duly went into bat with Arpit Patel who had taken over the run scoring from Binoy.  Arpit hit the only six of the game and contributed four fours, but Guy within sight of the victory target aimed for a six over mid on and was bowled.

So with only two to win, guess who had to hobble out to the middle.  One ball left in the over, down the leg side and somehow it ended up lodged in my pads.  As I removed it, and over was called, the keeper quizzed whether I had caught myself out.  I pointed out that I hadn't claimed the catch, so it didn't count!

With due consideration, Arpit hit the winning boundary a couple of balls later, so my injury was fully rested!

J Simpson     0

B Masters     37

S Switala      15

Mahesh P      9

M Deacon     0

A Patel        27 not out

G Burford     4

A Banyard    0 not out

P Wood

G Hawkins

J Kelly

Extras       28

Total        120 for 6  from 28.3 overs

Holton won by 4 wickets